AS I SEE IT 6/5: Double de-caf ECW latte
AS I SEE IT
So last night with WWECW One Night Stand we got ECW-lite....a sort of double de-caffienated ECW Caffè Latte with extra foam. Actually, it was a lot less like a one night stand, and more like a cluster...well, you know.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
Yes, there were the advertised "Extreme Rules" matches...WWE's version of them, that is. But if you want real hardcore wrestling, go to one of Ian Rotten's IWA Mid-South Wrestling shows or go down to CZW's Tournament of Death next week. Last night, after all, was WWECW.
WWE wants the PPV buys from and the TV viewing by old-school ECW fans, but is afraid to get a real ECW reaction it can't control. So WWE calls its glorfied Velocity show ECW and populates it with talent that reminds no one except Vince and Stephanie McMahon of the real ECW. You can call a pig kosher, but I wouldn't advise serving it at the dinner after someone's Bar Mitzvah. The McMahon family apparently thinks otherwise.
The best case in point was last year's WWECW One Night Stand, which scared WWE away from running PPVs in traditional ECW locations, including the"You can't wrestle" chants at John Cena and Randy Orton, booing a non-finish in the Rey Misterio, Jr.- Sabu match, and booing Sandman not coming out to his traditional Metallica music; that it moved One Night Stand away from the successful location of the Manhattan Center and moved it to the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL.
WWE even moved a scheduled WWECW TV taping weeks later on July 4 from the ECW Arena to the Wachovia Center (with 10 days notice). WWE claimed they moved the taping because they weren't allowed by ECW Arena management to use pyro. More than a few others think they were afraid of the reaction they knew would result after they had to take the WWE and ECW belts off of Van Dam after his drug bust. They were right.
The already pissed off old school ECW fans then gave WWE a near-riot when they took the ECW belt off of Rob Van Dam with bottles and containers of beer hitting Paul Heyman and the Big Show in the head and the WWE camera operator with a direct hit in the camera lens that couldn't be cropped out of the live telecast.
The August 1, 2006 WWECW Sci-Fi Network taping was probably the last straw. More on that in a minute.
So with all this....let's look at the names from last night's show, and imagine them in the real ECW.
Melina and Candice Michelle in a pudding match...OK, that sort of fits the usual "throw two women into the ring and have them do nothing of socially redeeming value" traditional ECW match. Except Francine and Beulah McGillicutty took better bumps, and if I wanted silicone-inflated sexual fantasies, I'd have done the local strip bar just over the Walt Whitman Bridge.
The Great Khali? He makes 911 look like Karl Gotch. Cena? Some of my fellow ECW Arena rats might consider this sacrilege, but I think Cena might very well have made it. Why? Because he busts his ass, does what he's asked, and would eventually have won over ECW fans with getting crowd heat, AND takes it like a good sport.
Vince McMahon as WWECW Champion? Yeah, right. He doesn't get heel heat from real ECW fans. McMahon evidently thinks people will tune in and dish out PPV dollars to see Lashley chase him for the belt. Instead, McMahon gets "get the f$#@ off of my TV set" heat from ECW fans. Maybe lsat night's title change shows he finally recognized that, too.
Bobby Lashley, well....he's really big.
Edge? He'd have been a success in ECW. Imagine if Paul Heyman took those quasi-shoot promos up a notch.
Batista in ECW? Bwahahahahaha. This is the guy who threw a fit on the level of a third-grade girl when real ECW fans booed the shit out of him at the August 1, 2006 WWECW Sci-Fi taping, including vulgar chants and steroidschants, at which point on the telecast WWE killed the crowd sounds and jacked up Joey Styles to talk over the chants; likely ending any possibility of a WWECW TV show or PPV ever being held in a traditional ECW venue again.
Tommy Dreamer and Sandman? God bless 'em...they're pretty much just getting paychecks now to make up for the checks Paul Heyman bounced on them.
CM Punk? Paul Heyman could have made CM Punk a main event star on RAW if he'd been allowed to do it, instead of keeping Punk on the third-rate show that WWECW on Sci-Fi is.
Elijah Burke, Monty Brow...er, Marcus whatever his gimmick is...and Matt Striker. Best thing I can say here is that Monty Brown as Monty Brown might have gotten over in the real ECW.
Randy Orton? He's right there in the grand tradition of ECW doing things to get itself kicked out of hotels and general all-purpose self-destruction. Orton is tremendously talented. It's shame he can't keep away from the chemical substances and behavioral issues. Maybe Orton should ask Axl Rotten what drugs can do to a career.
The Hardys? Assuming Jeff could keep himself clean (then again, with ECW...maybe his old drug issues WOULD have had him fit right in), an ECW incarnation would have have been a success instead of the schizo act that Vince McMaoh wants to break up every other week Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas would have done well if allowed to be the athletes they are, instead of early show filler for house shows and TV.
Moving along to other promotional stupidity... the following letter was sent to me by Matt Roseboom. Matt took picture at the Orlando TNA tapings and distributed them free of charge, with nothing more than credit asked, as well as posting them to his blog, http://mattboom.smugmug.com. Matt Roseboom gave TNA free publicity it badly needs...and take a look at TNA's response:
"Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from this past Monday's TNA TV tapings.
Just before the show was to start, TNA official Bill Banks came up to me and said I couldn't take pictures anymore. I told him I was told it's OK before I started ever coming to the shows last summer. First he said he was going to be watching for other people taking pictures, and I told him that would be a lot of people. Then he said it was because I have a 'professional' camera (I have a Canon Digital Rebel.) 'You can't do that.' he said. So I told him that I've been e- mailing links to my pictures each time to Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter and haven't had anyone ask me to stop. Then he said it was Dixie that told him to tell me. Then he walked away.
I stayed for about half the show, then I had to leave. I couldn't stand being there any longer, watching everyone around me taking pictures and no one stopping them. There was even a lady down from me with a very long lens - much longer than mine.
I e-mailed Dixie Monday night to see what the true problem is and to see if we can work something out. I told her I'd be willing to hold my pictures until after the shows air or even give them all my photos to use however they wish in return for nothing more than photo credit. I haven't heard back from her.
I'll update all of you if there's anything to update. If any of you could do anything to help me get my privileges back, I'd appreciate it."
Alan Wojcik, who distributes results for TNA to a large number of websites had this problem some time ago. Several of the websites that receive his results also receive this column. including my own PWBTS.com. After that fact was made public by this column, someone who's no longer at TNA got him the go-ahead to continue doing what he had been doing...ALLOWING him to give them free publicity far in excess of what they had been generating themselves to that point.
Now if I were an independent wrestling company that has illusions of being number two to WWE ; if I were a company that has spent millions upon millions of dollars, yet still drew a 0.92 rating this past Friday night (among men 18-34 drawing an even worse 0.54 rating)...along with PPV buyrates two-tenths of WWE's; I would get on my knees in the middle of Times Square, and kiss the ass of everyone that wanted to help me get out the word about my company. I damned sure wouldn't be upsetting anyone like that to the point that they feel the need to write to wrestling websites like mine.
If you still care about TNA, send an e-mail to them and ask them why they're doing something so clearly self-defeating and non fan-friendly to someone whos was not making money off of them, but was running a fansite that was giving them free PR.
Even TNA's road shows that are supposed to replace the numerous independent bookings that TNA workers have had pulled from them aren't doing that well...with Dave Meltzer reporting slow sales for the upcoming San Juan, PR road show. The show is already only set up for only 7,000 seats (out of a 18,000 seat arena). This is a venue that WWE has filled with recent appearances.
The upcoming TNA Slamiversary PPV apparently isn't doing much better. TNAwrestlingnews.com reports "sluggish" sales for the Nashville PPV, owing to higher ticket prices than the Nashville market is used to paying, with ringside seats priced at $125.
From John W. Johnson:
"I'm starting to shake my head not only at TNA (like usual) but now WWE. There are a couple of reasons why...
First, I agree with the whole discipline thing in WWE. Notice how in previous years, great talent was released because of behavior problems, even with only a single incident (Matt Hardy, Curt Hennig, Kid Kash, Rhino), yet you have a guy like Randy Orton who on more than one occasion has been involved in behavior issues still on the roster.
I can see why they want to keep him elevated, as he's a 'big name' that they don't want to see in TNA, but I don't think at this point, that TNA would even touch him with a ten foot pole. People seem to forget that he hasn't truly committed to anything in his adult life, including twice going AWOL from the US Marine Corps.
Secondly, I think that the Draft Lottery is always a good idea, as it gives the WWE an opportunity to shake up the undercard. But this much is going to be certain, John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Triple H will still be on RAW, The Undertaker, Batista, and the Cruiserweights will still be on Smackdown, and ECW will still look like an overglorified developmental territory.
Finally, I hope that the buyrates from the non-Big Four PPVs show the WWE that holding Joint PPVs every month won't work, because until this years Backlash, they were really the only way guys like London and Kendrick, William Regal, Benjamin and Haas, and the Cruiserweight Division have a chance to make it on PPV."
WHY do a draft lottery when some of the talent is appearing on one, two, or even three shows? Brand separation is a thing of the past. Just do an angle to move two or three guys over toRAW and be done with it.
From Justin Ruppe:
"Though I am guilty of occasionally enjoying some parts of TNA, but too few and far between nowadays, I used to actually enjoy the show whenever I first started watching back at the beginning of 2006, But I saw it slowly (and heavily pick up speed) fall down a hole.
Despite being a WWE fan, I do wanna see TNA succeed and compete with WWE, but with the way things are now, that isn't gonna be happening any time soon. I wish that they'd get their crap together and start putting together some good shows. I'm hoping that maybe the 2 hour time slot will help that, possibly, but I could be wrong, since their main problem is they don't know or realize how to use their talent, and thus keep pushing the guys that already have names for themselves, giving us that still watch every Thursday.
But as I was saying, giving us the same confusing, spoiled feuds that they seem to be just keeping at us. They can't seem to keep one feud going on at once even, and instead throw a third and fourth, and even fifth guy into the mix. And they can't seem to keep a title on a person for very long either.
In my opinion, Samoa Joe should have that title, and he should hold it for a very long time, too. They keep teasing at it but never pull through, and keep Sting, Kurt Angle and Christian Cage on the top. I'm tired of seeing these three guys go at it, and whenever they do bring someone into the mix its always Rhino, Samoa Joe, and Scott Steiner. I'm sick of seeing all the same crap, and they can't even keep a stable feud going which irks me, and it just keeps going down hill from there, They can't seem to make their minds, its all too chaotic, and its pissing me off every time I watch it (but I have nothing else to do on Thursdays so..I keep watching anyway, hoping for change.)
And whatever happend to the X Division? I don't think there is one anymore. It's more of the Kevin Nash and Bob Backlund division. Which is annoying, we've seen enough of Kevin Nash in WCW and WWE, now TNA continues to shove him down our throats. Now I like the guy but C'mon. The X Division used to be TNA's only redeeming quality, I loved watching Chris Sabin and Jay Lethal and others go at it with insane moves. I was a huge fan of those two. Those in the X-Division have alot of skill, and they need alot more recognition than their getting, I feel bad that their being buried by Kevin nash, and I wouldn't doubt that their pretty pissed off backstage about it.
Also I feel bad that their getting pulled from all these indy shows as well, since thats their way of thriving, and showing off their real talent as well (because TNA sure isn't doing it for them.) and if TNA doesn't change, all I see is it becoming just as a place for all WWE releases, and old WCW stars sitting on their asses, getting paid for it, and not putting emotion or anything into their promos or storylines, leaving it a dull, desolate, wasteland."
If that wasn't bad enough for you, how about this past weekend's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which reported that Sonjay Dutt will now be doing a Gandhi gimmick.
Dutt's wearing clothing that Gandhi wore in 1930 and 1940's photographs and is "preaching nonviolence" to Jay Lethal (who's already pretending to be Randy Savage) and Kevin Nash (who's pretending to be a wrestler). If this STILL isn't bad enough, TNA wanted him to wear a turban and put a dot on his forehead. TNA apparently backed off when Dutt sarcastically asked them if he they wanted him to drive a cab as well.
God, I hope someone sends Phil Muchnick or a group of Asian Americans a copy of this crap when it airs. I want to see Dixie Carter talk her way out of this crap.
Until next time...
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